PTFE Sheet versus UHMW SheetsUHMW sheet compared with PTFE sheet Thread Seal Tape UHMW Sheet compared to PTFE Sheet (TFE sheets) UHMW Sheet compared to PTFE Sheet (TFE sheets) ptfe thread sealant

UHMW (Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene) and PTFE Sheet (PolyTetraFlouroEthylene) are very similar materials, and yet very different at the same time. They both possess certain characteristics that make them similar to each other. For instance, they both have a very low co-efficient of friction, which means they are great for sliding applications and are easy to machine.

Both of these materials are very resistant to chemicals such as chlorine and some acids and have great wear resistance. They have low to no water absorption. They also are FDA approved for handling food. PTFE and UHMW Polyethylene are both nearly impossible to bond (without treatment) and are susceptible to sagging under tensile load which is called ‘creep’. These both have very low coefficient of friction and work well for wear strips, slide pads and truck liners to make it easy to empty. These two materials are different in many ways also, and choosing between the two materials for a specific job is critical.

Below are a few examples of how these two materials are different.

1. UHMW is a polyolefin and PTFE is a fluoropolymer. Polyolefins are double bonded carbon while Fluoropolymers are carbon and fluorine bonded. UHMW is a monomer which is consisted of one atom that will bond with another to form a polymer. PTFE is a polymer which is made up of a repeating chain of monomers.UHMW Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene Truck Lining UHMW Sheet compared to PTFE Sheet (TFE sheets) UHMW Sheet compared to PTFE Sheet (TFE sheets) uhmw truck lining

2. PTFE has a higher temperature range than UHMW. The PTFE has a continuous use temperature of 500 degrees F. UHMW is much lower with a continuous use temperature of 200 degrees F and a melting point of 271 degrees F. The UHMW starts to become become soft at higher temperatures while the PTFE is much more resistant and with a melting point of 621 degrees F.

3. UHMW has higher abrasion resistance than PTFE. Both have great impact and wear resistance but because of UHMW having a molecular weight between 2-6 million making it the best wear resistance material in the plastic family, it makes it ideal to take wear and impact over a wider range and longer period of time without losing its properties.

4. UHMW has a much lower density than PTFE. This makes UHMW able to float in water while Fluoropolymers are significantly heavier (almost twice the density of UHMW) and would sink.

5. PTFE has excellent electrical and thermal properties. The virgin grade of PTFE is a better insulator and exhibits better electrical properties which can be used in radio frequencies, cables and circuit boards while UHMW cannot.

6. UHMW is much less expensive than the Fluoropolymers. Especially recently, PTFE has become harder to come by, and during the last 18 months there has been a global shortage of a key raw material called fluorspar that is used to make all Fluoropolymer materials. The ability to take lots of wear and tear and requiring low long term maintenance makes UHMW more cost effective.

7. The standard color of PTFE is Natural, which is a dense white. The UHMW comes in Natural (a deep milky white) or Black. The UHMW can be produced in many colors, and minimums are rather low. To obtain PTFE in colors is much more difficult, and would also have large minimum orders.

Click here for data sheet comparisons for each material…

UHMW Sheet and Rod Data

PTFE Sheet and Rod Data

Both the UHMW and the PTFE are available as sheet, sheets, sheeting, slab, bar, strip, panels, film, round rod, rods and block. Contact us for assistance with these or other shapes.

PTFE Sheeting Properties

  • Specific Gravity D792 2.14 – 2.24
  • Tensile Strength Yield D638 2,500 – 6,000UHMW Polyethylene Timing Roller UHMW Sheet compared to PTFE Sheet (TFE sheets) UHMW Sheet compared to PTFE Sheet (TFE sheets) UHMW timing roller
  • Tensile Modulus D638 80,000
  • Izod Impact – Notched D256 3.0
  • Hardness – Rockwell D785 D50 – D65
  • Deflection Temp @ 264psi D648 150
  • Deflection Temp @ 66 psi D648 250
  • Co. Thermal Expansion D696 5.5X10-5

UHMW Sheeting Properties

  • Specific Gravity D792 .93 – .94
  • Tensile Strength Yield D638 6,800
  • Coefficient of Friction – Static D1894 .25
  • Izod Impact – Notched D256 No Break
  • Hardness – Rockwell D785 R64
  • Vicat Softening Temp D1525 260
  • Deflection Temp @ 66 psi D648 174
  • Co. Thermal Expansion D696 11.0X10-5

These are just some examples of plastic materials being similar, and yet having very different properties. The PTFE Sheet and UHMW Sheet may appear very similar in color and can be used for some of the same applications, but when needed for a specific use or property needed, one might be dramatically better than the other. As the old saying goes, “You should never judge a book by its cover” and the same is true with plastic. Review the properties and test prior to choosing a final material for your application.

Call us for further assistance at 866-832-9315, or click here to contact us with your questions.

Additional Information About UHMW Sheets or Rod Here.

Additional Information About The Discovery Of PTFE Sheet and Rod by Dupont Here

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Topic: UHMW Sheet and PTFE Sheet – A Comparison

How to use Virgin PTFE Rod

PTFE Rod is a remarkable product. PTFE – Polytetrafluoroethylene was discovered on April 6, 1938 by Dr. Roy Plunkett at the DuPont research laboratories. And this original PTFE was further developed by Dupont, and was released as a product in 1945.

This product is extremely chemical resistant, and can handle temperatures above 500 degrees. One of the first household uses for PTFE is the ‘PTFE Coated Frying Pan’. While this pan works very well, it is a different process than the PTFE Rod and Sheet we supply. It is a sprayed on coating that is almost black in color, where the pure PTFE Rod and Sheet is bright white in PTFE Round Rod Steam Valve Packing How to use Industrial PTFE Plastic Rod How to use Industrial PTFE Plastic Rod PTFE Gasket and Packing for Steam Valvecolor.

What are some of the uses for PTFE TFE Rod?

Because PTFE exhibits high temperature and chemical resistance, it is commonly used in valve applications. From simple steam / hot water valves to high heat, caustic chemical valves in the fluid handling industries. This material is a semi-rigid to rigid plastic, and can be machined very easily – one of the easiest plastics to work with. The PTFE rod can be machined to very close tolerance, and in most small diameter rod it is supplied with a +.002″/-.00″ on the diameter (check for tolerance on your requested size). The chemical resistance is one of the key properties associated with the material. In sheet or thin sheet (film) PTFE is used as gasket material for similar high heat and chemical resistant flange and seals.

PTFE RodPTFE sheet and film - used as gasket material How to use Industrial PTFE Plastic Rod How to use Industrial PTFE Plastic Rod Virgin PTFE Gasket

Since 1945 Dupont has been the world leader in producing PTFE resins. Over the last couple of years, with the global shortage of Fluorspar (a key ingredient in producing all Fluoropolymer Plastics) Dupont has made some changes to their product offerings. Included in this change is a discontinuation of the production of one of most common granular molding powder (resin) used in the production of PTFE Rod and Sheet. This has the industry in a panic, the remaining global suppliers of PTFE resin are scrabbling to fill the void left by this decision. What does this mean to you? If you are used to purchasing PTFE rod or sheet, you may find the base materials may not be from Dupont. Our suppliers have small amounts of the Dupont resin, but mostly are replacing their raw materials with molding powder from other manufacturers. It may be, in the very near future, that all PTFE rod and PTFE sheet may not be made from Dupont brand resin.

Click here for current pricing on PTFE Rod.

UHMW rod is also a very slippery plastic material, but it does not take the high heat the PTFE rod does.

If you are one of the many clients that need this material, please contact us for clarification, information, supply chain news and possible changes in sources of supply. Call us at 866-832-9315 or email us here.

Thank you,

Industrial Plastic Supply

Before You Choose, read 7 Things You Must Know When Choosing Your PTFE Sheet Suppliers.

Google+ – Hayden Hess